How Far Apart Do The Trees Need To Be For Your Hammock

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Walking throught the woods with your hammock in hand.

Looking for a couple of trees to hang it from.

Walking up to one set of sturdy looking trees about 8 feet apart you think to yourself.

These look good.

Wrap the tree straps around the trees and start to connect your hammock.

Then you realize this won’t work.

They’re too close together.

So what should you look for?

How far apart should the trees be for your hammock?

That’s what I’m here to help you with.

Let’s dive in.

Things to consider before picking your trees

Hold up now.

There’s a handful of things you need to think about before you hang your hammock.

  1. If you’re using a tarp how long is the ridgeline? Most manufacturers list this on the product page. add 4 feet to the ridgeline to get a good starting point. If you’re going tarpless don’t worry about this.
  2. What suspension are you using? If you’re using whoopie slings with tree straps you’ll need more room. If it’s a system similar to the Slapstraps or Atlas Straps you can get by with less room.
  3. Also how long is your hammock ridgeline? Make sure you’ve read this about how to lay comfortably in a hammock which includes calculating your ridgeline length. If you have a longer ridgeline you need more room.
  4. Are the trees themselves sturdy? Make sure the trunk of the tree can withstand you yanking on it, and look up to ensure there isn’t any dead branches that might fall.

Now how far apart do the trees need to be?

So after thinking about all those questions you’re ready to figure out how far apart the trees should be for your camping hammock.

For me the answer is 15 feet or more.

But I have an 11 foot hammock that has roughly a 109 inch ridgeline and a tarp that has an 11 foot ridgeline.

Now with that in mind you can think about your own set up.

If you’re using a tarp that is the correct length then simply add 4 feed to the ridgline of the tarp and that’ll be your starting point.

If you’re going topless (aka without a tarp) then add 6 feet to the ridgeline of your hammock and start there.

And finally when in doubt just look for trees that are 15 to 20 feet apart.


These are only guidelines, and I know from experience I tend to underestimate how far apart I need the trees to be.

Practice makes perfect. You’ll develop an eye for the right trees to hang from after spending quite a few nights in your hammock.

But to review this is where to start:

Remember not to stress. You’re out in a hammock. It’s supposed to be relaxing. You can always set it up and move it if the trees are too far apart or too close.